Thursday, May 17, 2007

After walking around all day yesterday, I didn't do much other than get home, take a shower, and then go out to see a movie. It's always relaxing to get to just go out to the theater like all the locals and go see a film. I saw "28 Weeks Later" which was entertaining, then went home and crashed.

This morning, I started off by walking to the Sydney Tower. Since I was able to see it, I figured it wasn't that far away, but it was further than I expected. The worst thing about trying to walk your way to a tower is that the closer you get, the harder it is to see the thing. I finally managed to find it. I don't know why I continue to visit towers when I'm in different cities, because they're usually a let down. Even if it's clear and you have a view, it's like, big deal - you can see the city. In about 10 minutes, you're done. The Sydney Tower was by far the least impressive one I have ever visited. For starters, it doesn't look like your typical needle. It's really ugly. Secondly, the elevators aren't even glass walled, so you can't see out when you're ascending. Thirdly, unlike the Space Needle in Seattle (and I believe the CN tower, too) you can't go outside and walk around. It's just a big vantage point. Again, most expensive elevator ride EVER. After I came back down, my ticket included a trip through the OZ Trek. The OZ Trek is in two parts. The first is a cool hologram presentation that is very well put together and quite impressive technologically speaking. It shows you different things you can do in OZ. The second part was one of those "rides" that's (I forget the correct term) like a flight simulator where you're in a seat with a big screen in front of you, but your seat moves around. It takes you all over OZ as well. I thought I was going to hurl.

From there, I rushed down to the Wharf. A friend had given me the number of a friend of hers in Sydney who said she would show me around a bit. I took the Ferry over to meet her at Manly Beach. Nikki was VERY nice and welcoming, like most Aussies. She showed me all over Manly Beach, and then we went to the Oceanworld aquarium there. I was thinking, "Good god, another aquarium." Those are another thing I don't know why I continue to visit. I always get bored with aquariums. It's like, "Oh - there's a fish, and another fish." So boring. But Nikki is a scuba diver, and in fact also makes money by taking people out diving. So when we were at the aquarium, it was like having a personal tour guide. At every tank, she was like, "Ooh! It's a blah-blah fish! Look how cute he is!" She seemed to know every fish there and could tell me everything about them. I asked if she had ever taken Marine Biology courses, but she said she just knew all that info from diving. We're scheduled to get together tomorrow on her day off to go somewhere a little farther out of Sydney. She has a car, so it will be nice to be able to go somewhere I can't get to on my own.

After she left me to go to work, I walked past a bar and saw hockey on the tv. It was game 4 of the Ottawa-Buffalo series so I got to watch the last two periods. It was on some sort of delay. I could tell because the period breaks had been taken out (nice!) but it looked like it was in slow motion because of the conversion from NTSC (American video) to PAL (which is a slower frame rate). Either way, it was good to be watching hockey.

I took the ferry back around 4:30 as the sun was beginning to set. It's weird that the sun goes down so early here in the summer, but really, even though it's been nice and warm, it's heading into fall for them. I suppose down here the winter days are the longest, instead of vice versa for us. It was rush hour on the subway when I got back and I didn't want to go that way. It was rush hour yesterday when I took the train to go to the movies and it was really crowded and hot down there. I decided to make my usual trek back through the Botanical Gardens. The sun was falling fast. I was worried the garden gates might already be closed, and I didn't know how to get back going around. It would have taken a long time. When I got to the gate, it said that it would close at 5:30. My watch read 5:20. I headed into the darkening park, wondering if I could make it across before the other gate closed. It's a huge park - I imagine it's similar to Central Park, though I've never been there. At any rate, it's more than a 10 minute walk through. Halfway through, out of nowhere, came a giant swarm of birds across the night sky. It took me a moment to realize it was actually BATS! I had heard there were fruit bats in the park, but had never seen them. It was really creepy, there was at least a thousand!

For dinner, I walked over to the Hard Rock which was also farther than I thought it was. The food was less than average and sort of disappointing. I've just walked back and have stopped at an internet cafe in Kings Cross that is full of backpackers. The internet is slow, and for some reason, Blogger is in Chinese and I can't figure out how to change it back to English, so hopefully, I'll push the right button and this will publish properly.


Blogger M-M-M-Mishy said...

Sounds like a good day! Well, maybe except for the bats. Bats freak me out.

Also, you're right. You can go outside and walk around the CN Tower.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Bats! Last time I saw bats was in the Amazon . . . if you went to the bathroom errr outhouse at night, there would be bats zooming around!

Well, you know your legs are staying in shape with all this walking . . . did the Aussies appreciate hockey?

8:23 AM  
Blogger Kelly J. Compeau said...

It sounds like you're having a very interesting time DownUnder. Keep the reports coming.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

Love the stories!
I saw Wally today. He was totally happy. I think he was excited to have a sleep over at his new BFF Strider's house.

9:57 PM  
Blogger LA said...

Edit - When do you meet up with your penpal?

6:29 PM  
Blogger saladbats said...

So jealous of you getting to see all those bats! I love that you can be in a major city and walking around and then look up in the trees and there's all those mammals up there. Just one of the many reasons I love Australia.


6:52 PM  

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